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The Princess Bride by William Goldman
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The Princess Bride (original 1973; edition 1984)

by William Goldman

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16,280386108 (4.28)3 / 582
Member:LorenIpsum
Title:The Princess Bride
Authors:William Goldman
Info:Del Rey (1984), Mass Market Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:None

Work details

The Princess Bride by William Goldman (1973)

1970s (10)
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English (380)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  English (386)
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
I'll say from the outset that The Princess Bride is one of my favourite films. But I'd never read the book and I admit that I approached it with some trepidation. Would it be as good? Both book and screenplay were, after all, written by the same man.

As it turns out the answer is yes. And no. Let me explain.

The basic story remains the same. Westley, Buttercup, Inigo and Fezzik are all here and they do all the things they do in the film and even say the same things. Large chunks of dialogue were lifted wholesale. This is a good thing. And let's face it, it's a rollicking good tale. Mr Goldman knows how to write.

But there are differences that ultimately have made me knock one star off the rating. The framing story where Goldman tells of his father reading him this book as a child, and of Goldman trying to get his own son interested in the story, which fails, leading to his abridgement of the book, is far more knowing and arch than in the film. No kindly Peter Falk grandfather figure here. The whole abridgement thing gets in the way to be honest and appears tricksy, interrupting the story when he should just tell the tale and let it all flow.

It's a good book. But Goldman showed his skill as a screenwriter when he adapted it for the screen, jettisoning the bits that don't work and streamlining the story without losing the charm of it.

So, it's a bit of a curate's egg. It's a great read, a wonderful tale of adventure, somewhat hamstrung by its framing device. I'm glad I read it, but I think I still prefer the film. ( )
  David.Manns | Nov 28, 2016 |
This satirical fairytale is such postmodern-swashbuckling fun that you can almost forgive its loquacious narrator - the gimmick idea of only relating the best parts of a story was well-done, if only it extended to the authorial asides - and the conformist-sexism of the passive eponymous damsel. The first half of the story - up to the Snow Sand capture - was perfect, with just the right amount of outlandishness and plausibility for a fairytale: excellent backstories for each of its characters - with essentially only one female character, Buttercup who showed so much potential for subversion of the usual maiden requiring rescue - and wonderfully tight plotting for each of their encounters with one another, moving swiftly from one to another, leaving out the boring parts as promised, expedient without being choppy. Unfortunately, the second half, in attempting to outperform its predecessor, ups its implausibility factor and leaps with wild imprecision to crash-land over the plot points in the hopes that its splatter will be provide sufficient connections for them all. The only reappearance of the original style was Inigo Montoya's plan being surprised by the three-edged sword/knife and his eventual triumph with the goriest fist-in-gut development. Recommend for everyone so as to be in the cultural zeitgeist, but best enjoyed if read to and edited by someone else who has already read it once.

Aside: Fezzik reminds me so much of Choo-Choo from Justified. ( )
  kitzyl | Nov 28, 2016 |
The movie is a favorite, so I thought I would give the book a try. It's better and worse than I thought it would be. The little extras were fun, but the conceit of it being "real" book got old. I'm glad I read it, but I don't plan on a re-read, I'll just watch the movie. ( )
  oswallt | Nov 25, 2016 |
The story is interesting, the villains are not bad either, Inigo Montoya and Fizzik are awesome and they get 5 stars, Westley is great. However, Buttercup is none of those things! She gets 0 points. The last twenty percent of the book was not enough to redeem her in my eyes. I reluctantly admit I might be too harsh since she is probably there to cause such reaction after all.

And here's an even shorter version of the book (spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di3rfm5oKwo ( )
  Aneris | Oct 31, 2016 |
The story is interesting, the villains are not bad either, Inigo Montoya and Fizzik are awesome and they get 5 stars, Westley is great. However, Buttercup is none of those things! She gets 0 points. The last twenty percent of the book was not enough to redeem her in my eyes. I reluctantly admit I might be too harsh since she is probably there to cause such reaction after all.

And here's an even shorter version of the book (spoilers): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di3rfm5oKwo ( )
  Aneris | Oct 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 380 (next | show all)
The book is clearly a witty, affectionate send-up of the adventure-yarn form, which Goldman obviously loves and knows how to manipulate with enormous skill.
 

» Add other authors (62 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Goldmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Coconis, TedCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Green, NormanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manomivibul, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, SergioCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Minor, WendellCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, RuthCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thomas, MarkIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
This is my favorite book in all the world, though I have never read it.
Quotations
Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!
Death cannot stop true love. It can just delay it for a while.
As you wish.
Life isn't fair. It's just fairer that death.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts - The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she'll meet Vizzini - the criminal philosopher who'll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik - the gentle giant; Inigo - the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen - the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup's one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345348036, Mass Market Paperback)

The Princess Bride is a true fantasy classic. William Goldman describes it as a "good parts version" of "S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure." Morgenstern's original was filled with details of Florinese history, court etiquette, and Mrs. Morgenstern's mostly complimentary views of the text. Much admired by academics, the "Classic Tale" nonetheless obscured what Mr. Goldman feels is a story that has everything: "Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

Goldman frames the fairy tale with an "autobiographical" story: his father, who came from Florin, abridged the book as he read it to his son. Now, Goldman is publishing an abridged version, interspersed with comments on the parts he cut out.

Is The Princess Bride a critique of classics like Ivanhoe and The Three Musketeers, that smother a ripping yarn under elaborate prose? A wry look at the differences between fairy tales and real life? Simply a funny, frenetic adventure? No matter how you read it, you'll put it on your "keeper" shelf. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:01 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A writers views on life and art are revealed in his effort to edit the children's classic that shaped his literary ambitions.

(summary from another edition)

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